Office of the Associate Dean for Equity and Justice

A student in class

Cultivating Justice in Education

The Office of the Associate Dean for Equity and Justice works to center equity, justice, and inclusion in the teaching and learning, educational research, professional service, and community-engaged partnerships that occur across the Pitt School of Education.

Our goal is to:

  • Provide resources, mentorship, and educational opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and community and district partners

  • Support strategic initiatives — including the PittEd Justice Collective — that advance the school’s larger mission-vision of disrupting and transforming inequitable educational structures

  • Offer opportunities for collaboration and development in the areas of educational equity, justice, and antiracism in order to bring about a future that supports well-being for all

Meet the Associate Dean

Elon Dancy headshotAssociate Dean for Equity and Justice
Helen S. Faison Endowed Chair
Executive Director, Center for Urban Education

T. Elon Dancy II is the Associate Dean for Equity and Justice at the Pitt School of Education. As an education sociologist, he studies educational settings as sites of power and hegemony. More specifically, his research investigates the impact of institutional praxis on Black students’ academic and social outcomes. His nearly 80 publications examine sociohistorical contexts, masculinity formations, and anti-blackness as determinants of the relationships formed across schools and colleges.

Signature Initiatives

Study Groups

Open to faculty, staff, and students in the School of Education, as well as community partners, these study groups provide an opportunity to critically study key topics in equity and justice.

Abolition and Education Group
September 17, September 24, October 8, and October 15

* Registration is closed*

Facilitated by Sabina Vaught, Chair and Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading

Members of the Study Group will consider abolition’s location in the Black Radical Tradition, be introduced to some of its frameworks and principles, and begin to become familiar with some of its commitments in the context of U.S. social and political movements, including education. Each meeting will be an engaging, meaningful discussion organized around powerful, dynamic readings. Participants will receive a syllabus and be provided with readings and other resources required for discussion


Indigenous Knowledges Group
Five meetings. Runs fall 2020 into spring 2021.
Registration details forthcoming >>

Facilitated by Sabina Vaught, Chair and Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading

In conjunction with a Center for Urban Education-sponsored scholarly talk by Dr. Bryan Brayboy, President's Professor and Senior Advisor to the President at Arizona State University, this study group will take up introductory questions around Indigenous Knowledges in relation to the state education project. 


Faculty Pedagogy Workshops

Open to all faculty in the School of Education, the pedagogy workshops provide resources and support, and encourage collective efforts across a range of pedagogical praxes.

Pronoun Fluency: Creating More Equitable Classrooms Through Pronoun Usage
November 4, 2020 | Noon - 1:30 p.m.

Facilitated by Nino Testa, Associate Director of the Department of Women & Gender Studies at Texas Christian University (TCU), and Lindsay Throne Knight, (she/they), Director of the Intentional Dialogue Program, Assistant Director of the Leadership Center, and affiliate of the Women and Gender Studies Department and Gender Resource Office at Texas Christian University (TCU)

This workshop is designed to give faculty and staff an opportunity to develop familiarity with pronoun usage and strategies of address. Do you have questions about non-binary pronouns? Do you keep calling someone in your life by the wrong pronouns? Are you unsure how to talk to new people without gendering them? This workshop includes practical, hands-on opportunities to improve your knowledge or usage of pronouns, especially if you struggle to get other people’s pronouns right. We will also share best practices for inclusion of this information into syllabi and classroom settings. All genders and identities are welcome.

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Building a Living Syllabus
November 2020 | Date and Time TBA
Registration details forthcoming >>

Facilitated by Sabina Vaught, Chair and Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading 

“A revolution by education requires a revolution in education,” writes Russell Rickford in We Are an African People: Independent Education, Black Power, and the Radical Imagination. In this webinar we ask how our syllabi can be sites for reimagining and restructuring a small part of the vast educational project. Join to learn about and discuss one model for engaging a living syllabus—a syllabus that unfolds through collective processes in the context of one course.


Faculty Pre-tenure Workshops

Open to assistant professors, both tenure-stream and practice, in the School of Education, and by invitation to colleagues at other institutions, these Faculty Pre-tenure Workshops provide professional development and career support to our faculty members.

Centering Reflection: Knowledge Traditions and Writing for Depth
Friday, September 18, 2020 | Noon - 5 p.m.

Facilitated by Sabina Vaught, Chair and Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading 

The theme is “Centering Reflection: Knowledge Traditions and Writing for Depth.” The retreat will include a discussion of Angela Davis' influential article “Reflections on the Black Woman's Role in the Community of Slaves” from The Massachusetts Review. Throughout the afternoon there will be both whole-group discussion and one-on-one time.


"Forging Relational Knowledges": Critical Co-Authoring
November 13, 2020 | Noon - 5 p.m.

Facilitated by Sabina Vaught, Chair and Professor in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading ; Bryan M. J. Brayboy, (Lumbee), President's Professor and Senior Advisor to the President at Arizona State University; and Jeremiah Chin, PhD/JD, Assistant Professor of Law at St. Thomas University

We will "think about how engaging interdisciplinarity and forging relational knowledges assist in anti-colonial academic research and teaching while also disrupting biocentric scripts, disciplined ways of knowing, and the spatial workings of knowledge" (p. 4) — From our advance reading: Katherine McKittrick's "Diachronic loops-deadweight tonnage/bad made measure," cultural geographies, 2016. Bring a project or an idea.  

Register Here